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Latest Environment Stories
Spirtle is easily spotted by her distinctive scarring from severe sunburn three years ago
Nearly two months after she was spotted off the East Coast, Spirtle the dolphin has been filmed frolicking off the shores of Kerry, as the Irish Mirror reports. The young dolphin is distinctive for the heavy scarring and discolouration on…
The project will provide solutions for small island renewable energy, water and aquaculture
MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine hosted by University College Cork has been awarded €9 million for the H2020 project MUSICA to build a pilot multi-use platform which will be a decarbonising one-stop-shop for small islands,…
The massive barrel jellyfish encountered off the Cornwall coast on Saturday
Divers off the coast of Cornwall captured the remarkable moment when they encountered a ‘giant’ jellyfish the size of a human being. As the Irish News reports, biologist Lizzie Daly and wildlife cameraman Dan Abbott were filing for the UK’s…
Open water sea swimmer Brian Coll at the start of last year's Galway Bay swim
As open water sea swimmers prepare for a Galway Bay crossing this weekend, Irish Water has said there is “no proven link” between a recent serious pollution incident in the city and the quality of bathing water off Galway’s beaches…
The new Spike Island ferry operated by Doyle Shipping
A new Cork Harbour ferry has been launched to Spike Island to coincide with the opening of a major new exhibition there, and it's hoped these initiatives will lead to a rise in tourist visitor numbers writes Bob Bateman. The ferry, named…
The humpback whale spyhopping off the bow of Terry and Tomás Deane’s RIB
Father and son Terry and Tomás Deane went out from the Kerry coast on the longest day of the year with the intention of finding marine wildlife. But little did they expect they would come face-to-face with a pod of…
Sailing the world with a piano on board. French woman, Marieke Huysmans Berthou performs open air concerts from the deck of her boat wherever she docks. Berthou had a captivated quayside audience in Dingle at the weekend.
On the high seas a musical odyssey, RTE reports, took place on board a 12-metre sailboat, featuring a piano and a French singer songwriter. Marieke Huysmans Berthou had a dream to sail around the world and perform concerts wherever she…
Lightning at sea is a risk for all tall-masted vessels in stormy conditions
A shocking video shows the moment when a sailboat moored in a US harbour was struck by lightning. The dramatic flash was caught on camera by a passer-by at the marina in South Boston as stormy weather rolled through the state…
The dolphin landed across the bow of a boat in Tralee Bay earlier this week
O’Sullivan’s Marine have shared with us a photo of the surprise moment when a dolphin landed on the bow of one of their boats. The sudden encounter was all the more startling as the marine mammal almost knocked a child out of…
Puffins on Little Saltee off Co Wexford
New research on Irish puffins has revealed that the sea birds swap the skies for the sea and make use of strong total currents to save energy when they search for food. The two-year study by MaREI and conservation charity ZSL…
Marine Institute Seeks New Chief Executive Officer
The Marine Institute, the State agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation in Ireland, is recruiting for a new chief executive to succeed Dr Peter Heffernan. Reporting to the chair of the board of the Marine Institute, the…
An Irish Argo float being deployed from the RV Celtic Explorer
A German Argo float deployed off Greenland in 2014 travelled 3,500km across the Atlantic Ocean and was recovered off the coast of Co Cork in 2018. The Marine Institute was able to trace the owner and help return the Argo…
Seagulls feeding from bin bags in Dublin
A leading pest control provider says it has recorded a significant increase in callouts to deal with seagulls among other pest birds so far this year. Rentokill is now is warning the public to be wary of the aggressive birds…
Inland Fisheries Ireland Confirms Fish Kill On Royal Canal
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it has confirmed a significant fish kill on the Royal Canal in Kilcock, Co Kildare earlier this week. A report was received on Monday 1 July from Waterways Ireland of the fish kill, which has…
The works are being carried out by the utility vessel Roxane Z
Planned works on the Portrane Pre-Lay Shore End installation for the Rockabill Subsea Cable are being carried out from the coast of Portrane, Co Dublin. Scheduled to start yesterday. Monday 1 July, they will continue to next Wednesday 10 July.…
Fishermen peel the skin off a Baird's beaked whale at Wada Port, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan in 2009. AFLOAT adds that the Irish Government in 1991 declared all Irish waters within the Irish EEZ to be a whale and dolphin sanctuary (the first of its kind in Europe) in recognition of its importance as a habitat for whales and dolphins.
Today a small Japanese fleet caught their first whales in the nation's first commercial hunt in more than three decades, a move that has aroused global condemnation and fears for the fate of whales. Japan RTE reports has long said…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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